Game 50: Ducks at Riversharks

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It’s taken nearly two months since the Atlantic League’s 2014 season began, but tonight, the Ducks will make their first trip of 2014 to Campbell’s Field in Camden, New Jersey to take on the Riversharks. After tonight’s game, the only other ballpark the Ducks will have yet to visit this year is Santander Stadium in York, Pa. Long Island heads to Camden for a crucial four-game set in which the Ducks will look for a much-needed series victory over a reeling Riversharks team.

The Ducks had a great chance to pick up some ground on the Somerset Patriots over the weekend, especially after taking both games of a day/night doubleheader on Saturday at TD Bank Ballpark. The twinbill sweep moved the Flock to within a game and a half of their Liberty Division foes, but unfortunately, they would get no closer. The Patriots rebounded with a 6-4 win on Sunday and a 5-4 victory on Monday night to put the Ducks right back where they were when leaving town: three and a half games out of first place. To rub salt in the wound, Somerset secured the first half tiebreaker over the Ducks by taking six of the first 10 games between the two. That means, if the two were to finish with identical records, Somerset would be the first half champion in the Liberty Division.

However, there are still just about three weeks remaining in the half, and a lot can happen between now and the end. The Ducks have to hope that comeback starts tonight, as they enter at 27-22 and face a Camden Riversharks team that has the league’s worst record at 18-33, is 2-8 in their last 10 games and is a league-worst 10-12 at home. Meanwhile, the Ducks have the second-best road record in the league at 15-11, trailing only the Patriots (14-9).

Long Island turns to their ace tonight in right-hander John Brownell, who has been the dominant arm of late and is 5-3 with a 3.57 ERA in 10 starts. He earned a win his last time out on Thursday against Bridgeport, tossing a complete game for the second time this season. In his nine innings of work, Brownell yielded just one run on six hits and a walk with five strikeouts. He has yet to lose since a tough outing against these same Riversharks on May 18 at Bethpage Ballpark, a span of five starts. He’ll be opposed tonight by southpaw Jay Voss, who enters at 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) this season. His last outing came on Thursday against York, and he took a no-decision, surrendering four runs (three earned) on nine hits in three and two-thirds innings. Voss hasn’t lost since May 6 at Southern Maryland, a span of seven outings, but he gave up six runs (five earned) on 10 hits in four innings against the Ducks when he opposed Brownell on the 18th of May.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Riversharks: Tonight marks the fourth meeting of the season between the Ducks and Riversharks and first of 10 games between the two in Camden. The Riversharks lead the series 2-1. Long Island and Camden have played 248 games against each other all-time, with the Riversharks holding a 130-118 advantage in the series and a 65-61 edge in Camden. The Ducks won the 2013 season series 11-9 and went 7-7 at Campbell’s Field

Triple Crown Threat: Lew Ford is currently leading the Atlantic League in all three Triple Crown categories. The outfielder and hitting coach has a .392 batting average, which is 17 points higher than Lancaster’s Blake Gailen. His 11 home runs are two more than three other players, and his 47 RBI and eight better than Lancaster’s Cole Garner. Ford is also leading the Atlantic League in hits (74) and total bases (120) and has reached base safely in 15 of his last 16 games.

Lentini Loves to Hit: With four hits on Monday, Fehlandt Lentini extended his hitting streak to 11 consecutive games. That’s the second-longest hitting streak by a Duck this season (Ford, 13 games, 5/13-5/25). During the streak, Lentini is batting .354 (17-for-48) with four doubles, one homer, eight RBI and nine runs. Monday also marked the third time this year he earned four or more hits in a game. Lentini picked up four hits on May 8 at home against Lancaster and five hits on May 9 at Lancaster.

What Can Brown-ell Do For You? Tonight’s starter, John Brownell, has won four of his last five starts and has not received a loss since May 18 at home against Camden. In those five starts, the 2014 Championship Series MVP has compiled a 1.66 ERA, allowing just eight runs (seven earned) in 38 innings of work. In that span, he has surrendered just 30 hits and 15 walks while striking out 28.

Approaching 1,000: With two wins on Saturday at Somerset, the Ducks have earned 27 wins in 2014. Long Island has now totaled 999 regular season wins in franchise history, leaving them just one win shy of the magical 1,000-win plateau. Of those 999 victories, 394 have come on the road.

On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast live on the Ducks official YouTube channel. Live streaming audio will be available online by CLICKING HERE. Michael Polak will call the play-by-play.

Finally, here are tonight’s starting lineups:

#24 Fehlandt Lentini – CF
#2   Cody Puckett – 2B
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#50 Randy Ruiz – 1B
#25 Brendan Harris – 3B
#13 Adam Bailey – RF
#15 Jon Myers – LF
#23 Jan Vazquez – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#7   John Brownell – RHP

#4   Zack MacPhee – LF
#10 Paddy Matera – 2B
#24 Bryant Nelson – 3B
#19 Jose Julio-Ruiz – 1B
#14 Bryan Pounds – SS
#8   Alex Hudak – CF
#25 Brian Van Kirk – RF
#34 Ryan Strieby – DH
#9   Jose Morales – C

#12 Jay Voss – LHP

Keep it here for updates from a hot and humid Campbell’s Field all evening long as the Ducks look to notch the 1000th regular season win in franchise history!

UPDATE (7:09): We are underway at Campbell’s Field as Jay Voss deals to Fehlandt Lentini!

UPDATE (7:42): The Ducks strike for four in the second inning and only picked up one hit! Four walks and a two-run single by Dan Lyons did the damage!

UPDATE (8:00): RBI singles in the third from Jon Myers and Jan Vazquez have extended the lead to 6-0 and knocked Jay Voss out of the game!

UPDATE (8:18): Camden trims the Ducks lead to four thanks to a solo homer by former Duck Ryan Strieby and a RBI single from Paddy Matera.

UPDATE (8:37): Another four-spot for the Ducks in the fourth ups the lead to 10-2! Two-run single by Lew Ford and a two-run triple by Adam Bailey!

UPDATE (9:05): Jose Julio-Ruiz hit a solo homer in the fourth, but Randy Ruiz responds with a mammoth three-run blast in the fifth! 13-3 Long Island!

UPDATE (9:36): Two more RBI for Strieby as he doubles to right in the sixth, trimming the Ducks lead to 13-5.

UPDATE (10:05): Camden has scored a run in the seventh on a sac fly by Alex Hudak, and now David Kopp relieves Steve Garrison with the bases loaded. Brendan Harris had a RBI double in the seventh. 14-6 Ducks lead.

UPDATE (10:10): Kopp strikes out Strieby to leave the bases loaded! 14-6 Ducks after seven! Kevin Baez was ejected after the at-bat by home plate umpire Tony Senia, presumably for arguing balls and strikes.

UPDATE (10:26): A RBI single by Lentini in the eighth tacks on another insurance run! 15-6 Flock!

UPDATE (10:45): We got to the bottom of the ninth with the Ducks leading 15-6! Three more outs for win number 1,000 in franchise history!

UPDATE (10:55): 1,000!! The Ducks have earned the 1,000th regular season win in franchise history with a 15-8 rout of the Riversharks!


Posted on June 17, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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